Irving Salzman's father had survived the Holocaust, and was committed
to raising "good Jewish boys." So Irving went
to synagogue, attended Hebrew school, and was observant
to kashrut (the "kosher" dietary laws) and
went to a Lubavitch Yeshiva. He became very active in
synagogue life, apprenticing with the local cantor and
learned how to be a Torah reader, a position he held
for fifteen years.
To meet new friends, Irving was on a chat line one
evening, and talking with a born-again Believer. The
two told each other about their respective faiths. Every
week, this young man would share with Irving the Messianic
prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures.
Irving took all of this with a grain of salt as he
trusted the wisdom of the rabbinical interpretations
of these prophecies over this born-again Christian's
He thought to himself, "Who is this
Gentile Christian and what does he know about the Messianic
Jewish prophecies?" Irving later found out that
his friend spent hours and hours in the Jewish public
library researching all the questions that came up in
their weekly conversations.
For an entire year the two debated on the phone, but
Irving's trust was solidly in the rabbinical authority.
"Can I read to you from the New Testament?"
Irving's young friend asked one day. Irving agreed,
as he had never heard a word of the New Testament. He
was then treated to the entire Sermon on the Mount,
when Yeshua (Jesus) spoke the life of faith to the multitudes.
"I had not seen anything like this in the rabbinic
writing of my youth.
I was overwhelmed by the authority,
wisdom, and compassion of Yeshua in the Sermon on the
Mount," said Irving. "Could we have all been
wrong?" This was a hard pill to swallow. It would
mean that the Jewish people had seen their Messiah and
denied Him and for 2,000 years we have all been telling
our people a lie [that Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah].
And so Irving began his own study of the Messianic prophecies.
"I vowed I would not allow the rabbinic interpretations
to influence, but let the text show me who He was. After
a couple of months I knew that Jesus of Nazareth was
the only candidate who fulfilled the prophecies. It
was a matter of fact, so I accepted Him as my Savior."
Irving Salzman is now a Messianic Rabbi in New Jersey.
He has been an outreach worker with Chosen People Ministries,
reaching hundreds, maybe thousands of people with the
truth of Yeshua, giving them the opportunity - much
like he had - to find their Savior.